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Undergraduate Student Research Immersion Program

in Tampa, FL or Ponce, PR

The Ponce Health Sciences University and Moffitt Cancer Center U54 Partnership is accepting applications from Undergraduate Students interested in a 2-year internship in Health Disparities Research at Moffitt Cancer Center.

The primary goal of this program is to allow students early and extended engagement with cutting-edge cancer research and researchers in multi-disciplinary areas of cancer and health disparities during this career-defining stage. There will be collaboration opportunities with faculty and students from PHSU. Students will actively participate in research, career development workshops, mentoring, and educational courses including health disparities and molecular tumor boards.

How It Works

The REC provides Undergraduate Students the opportunity and funding to complete rotations in population science, basic and translational research laboratories for 2 years.

Students from Ponce Health Sciences University, University of Puerto Rico - Ponce, Pontifical Catholic University, and Interamerican University will undertake their research rotation at PHSU in Cancer Research. Students from the University of South Florida will undertake their research rotation at MCC in Health Disparities.

Students will receive a stipend throughout their participation with an expected 10 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. During the summer semesters, students will engage in a full-time (40 hours per week) 8-week research immersion.

  • - Allow early and extended engagement with cutting-edge cancer research and researchers during this career-defining stage.
  • - Increase participating students’ technical proficiency and self-confidence.
  • - Increase proficiency in career advancement skills.
  • - Promote the development of top-notch scientists and clinicians interested in cancer from underrepresented backgrounds.
Benefits to You

During the 2-year program, participants will be provided with year-round mentoring, research, career development, training in cancer and health disparities, and publication(s) to strengthen the participants STEM identity and specifically enhance their cancer research/oncology career trajectory.

After completing each 8-week summer research immersion, students will give an oral presentation to faculty and students at their home institute and submit a written report of their work. Students will have the opportunity and support to attend a national scientific conference to further ignite their enthusiasm as to potential career opportunities.


Each Undergraduate Student will have an assigned faculty mentor. The program also provides opportunities for peer-to-peer interactions. All students will have access to a REC Coordinator for assistance in the organization of the research rotation assignments.

Professional Skills and Career Development

Students are expected to participate in courses, seminars, and workshops during the program such as:

  • - Health Disparities Course
  • - Omics Experience with Molecular Tumor Boards
  • - Scientific Communication Workshop
  • - Cancer Seminar Series
  • - Health Disparities Seminars

Trainee specific career development activities include:

  • - Research project plan development
  • - Scientific literature research skills development
  • - Experimental research skills development
  • - Strategies and interview skills for applying to graduate/professional schools
  • - Community engagement with the Partnership’s Outreach Core
  • - Shadowing an oncologist
How to Apply

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • - Be a member of an underrepresented community.
  • - Have successfully completed at least one semester in Undergraduate program by the beginning of the research program.
  • - Be in good academic standing.
  • - Have a minimum of 2 years remaining in Undergraduate program.

Interested applicants must submit a completed application as follows:

  • - Application form
  • - Personal statement of motivation
  • - Two letters or recommendation
  • - Current Curriculum Vitae (with student’s academic achievements)
  • - Undergraduate transcripts (including transcript of last semester completed)
  • - Good Standing Letter (not required for USF Students)

Would you like to apply? 

Applications for the 2024 cycle are now closed.

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